I love this term “quinoa bowl”. It just sounds so… cozy. Like we should nestle right in and rest our heads on pillows of soft, fluffy quinoa and take a little nap.
Or just eat it. That’s fine too.
Over the holidays I tried my hand at Sweet Potato Kale Quinoa Cakes to take to a New Years Eve dinner party, but they were sort of a flop. They tasted great, but they didn’t hold together very well. Still, even though the quinoa cakes were a fail, the ingredients were a win and I was left wanting to make it as a dinner side – more specifically, a “quinoa bowl” that I’ve seen around the interwebs and have been excited to
steal try. A quinoa bowl is comfort food with benefits – warm and carby, but some nutritional perks you don’t get with rice or pasta.
(This is what I mean by cutting myself some slack as I have loosened the reigns a bit with my very low-carb approach to eating. IT’S JUST QUINOA AND IT’S OK! [this is me yelling at myself while lovingly patting myself on the head]).
This cozy quinoa bowl was comprised of:
Approximately 3 c cooked quinoa (1 c uncooked quinoa = 3 cups cooked. Rinse well in a fine mesh strainer before cooking.)
2 baked sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed after baking
a couple handfuls of spinach sauteed in a little coconut oil
a few cubes of chicken broth (or just a little water as needed)
garlic powder, cumin and salt to taste (or whatever herbs and spice you like, don’t forget turmeric!)
I cooked the quinoa while baking sweet potatoes, chicken and Brussels sprouts in the oven. When everything was nearly done, I sauteed a couple handfuls of spinach in coconut oil in my dutch oven. As soon as the spinach was soft, I added the cooked quinoa, broth, sweet potato and spices and cooked on low for a few more minutes while stirring continuously, just to help ensure everything was well mixed and to allow a little liquid to cook off.
Excuse me ma’am, your quinoa bowl is ready.
With some roasted Brussels sprouts and chicken breast – this was a great dinner, and even better as leftovers the next day.
Quinoa is Affordable!
Quinoa is #21 on the list of 44 healthy foods under $1. I usually buy Arrowhead Mills quinoa, a 14 oz bag cost me $3.50 at my local Wegmans. The package contains 9 servings, that works out to be about $0.39 per serving. Cha-ching!
Quinoa is Good For You!
Quinoa is a complete protein which makes it a great choice for vegetarians. It’s high in iron and is a source of magnesium, potassium, folate and calcium and is gluten free.
A Few Quinoa Recipe Favorites
Quinoa and kale in a red pepper and tahini sauce to stuff into portabella mushroom caps or as a part of another cozy quinoa bowl.
Black Bean and Salsa Soup (an old favorite around here!)
You can add it to chili too – vegetarian or otherwise.
Or just throw some quinoa together with whatever vegetables you’ve got in the fridge.
If you’ve never had quinoa before, know that it’s pronounced “keen-wa” – it might be compared to rice as it’s somewhat similar in texture, but it’s a seed, not a grain. It has a nutty flavor and can be served warm or cold.
If you’re an old quinoa pro, tell us your favorite way to use it or any recipes you enjoy. I need to try to black or red quinoa next, quinoa love should know no color!